Orlando Mercado made his first major league hit a...

SEATTLE -- Orlando Mercado made his first major league hit a memorable one -- a grand slam.

'My first couple of at-bats, I was swinging at the first pitch,' said the 20-year-old catcher for the Seattle Mariners.


'Everyone told me to relax. I really wanted my first major league hit.

'Then I got a 3-1 count, a fastball right down the middle. I hit it -- but I can't believe it. A grand slam!'

Mercado's shot capped an eight-run fifth inning by the Mariners as they defeated the Texas Rangers 9-7 Sunday.

The record books do not reveal how many major leaguers hit a grand slam on their first hit. But only two National Leaguers have collected a grand slam in their first game. Philadelphia pitcher Bill Duggleby hit a grand slam in his first at-bat in 1898 and Bobby Bonds belted one in his first game for the San Francisco Giants in 1968.

Mercado was playing in his third game. He had one at-bat Saturday and caught one inning in another game. It was his first start.

The grand slam gave the victory to Edwin Nunez, who at age 19, picked up his first major league victory. Nunez, 1-1, gave up just three hits and struck out six in five innings before leaving the game with a blister.


The Seattle battery may be one of the youngest of all time, having just six games of major league experience between them going entering the game.

Mercado and Nunez were signed to contracts by the Mariners when they were 16 years old.

'I've known both of them,' said Texas manager Darrell Johnson, who formerly managed in Seattle. 'I had both of them in spring training and they are tremendous prospects.'

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